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With Faribault flashback, Daniel Durant advances to top 10 on 'Dancing with the Stars'

Tuesday was "Prom Night" on the Disney+ reality competition show. The Duluth actor shared memories of lighting up the dance floor in 2007 at the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf.

A woman and man in matching red-and-pink outfits dance down a line of clapping people. The woman's hand is on the man's shoulder, and he points forward enthusiastically.
Britt Stewart and Daniel Durant danced their way onto the floor during Tuesday's episode of "Dancing with the Stars."
Contributed / ABC / Eric McCandless
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DULUTH — Sorry, Faribault. "This is the best prom ever," actor Daniel Durant told "Dancing with the Stars" co-host Alfonso Ribeiro on Tuesday night in Hollywood.

A woman and man in matching red-and-pink outfits stand together on a dance stage, the woman leaning into the man as he pumps his fist into the air.
Daniel Durant wasn't named prom king, but he and dance partner Britt Stewart nonetheless triumphed Tuesday night, advancing to the next round of competition on "Dancing with the Stars."
Contributed / ABC / Eric McCandless

Durant and his dance partner, Britt Stewart, performed a cha-cha to "SexyBack" and survived the second night of Stars' Stories Week as bodybuilder Joseph Baena was eliminated from competition. (They previously advanced, on Monday, when actor Selma Blair bowed out for health reasons.) That leaves Durant and Stewart among just 10 remaining couples from the original 16.

Before dancing, Durant shared memories of attending prom at the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf in Faribault. Flashback photos showed the teenage actor with a rich flow. "My hair," said Durant, "I didn't cut it at the time so it was pretty wavy and big."

Explaining that "deaf people enjoy music by feeling the vibrations," Durant recounted being the first person on the dance floor. "I got up and danced by myself, and everyone else was just sitting there. They just want(ed) to talk and stand. Deaf people talk even more than hearing people."

Durant wore a pink suit for his high school prom, and reprised the look for Tuesday's competition. He and Stewart earned solid eights, out of a possible 10, from all four judges. "A lot of booty roll with that cha-cha!" exclaimed co-host Tyra Banks.

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The couple fared less well during a dance marathon at the episode's end. They were the first to be called off the floor, despite playing to the crowd with a smooth hustle. As Durant put it during an interview on the show: "I guess I know how to party."

Durant and Stewart will dance again Monday at 7 p.m. when the next episode of "Dancing with the Stars" streams live on Disney+.

Steven Peterson helped create a plaque to honor the founder of the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, Connecticut.

Related Topics: DULUTHTELEVISION
Arts and entertainment reporter Jay Gabler joined the Duluth News Tribune in February 2022. His previous experience includes eight years as a digital producer at The Current (Minnesota Public Radio), four years as theater critic at Minneapolis alt-weekly City Pages, and six years as arts editor at the Twin Cities Daily Planet. He's a co-founder of pop culture and creative writing blog The Tangential; and a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can reach him at jgabler@duluthnews.com or 218-279-5536.
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